In the current business world, where employees are navigating their personal and professional challenges occurred due to pandemic, empathy is a powerful tool to forge long-lasting relationships with them. Leaders who practice empathy aim at developing a compassionate and helpful workplace atmosphere where all employees thrive. Adriana Arvizo is one such leader who likes to contribute positively to her organization by leading with empathy and compassion.
As External Communications Manager at Comcast, Adriana is responsible for conceptualizing and executing public relations campaigns designed to maintain a favorable public image for the company. Adriana supports growth of Comcast business and residential products through strategic partnerships, media relations, and social media campaigns. She also helps create awareness of Comcast’s community impact efforts through storytelling and by developing relationships with key stakeholders. Lastly, she often serves as a spokesperson in the California region for English and Spanish-speaking audiences.
Award Winning Journalist
Named one of the Top Women in Public Relations by PR News, Adriana is a former award-winning journalist and current communication strategist with extensive experience in multicultural audiences. She has over 13 years of public relations and media relations experience. Before joining Comcast, she served as Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Department of State. Prior to that, she served as Public Relations Manager for Visit Philadelphia, the official marketing organization for the greater Philadelphia region. In addition, she was a Reporter and Managing Editor at AL DIA News, one of the highest circulation newspapers in the nation covering Latinx issues.
Striving to Be Better and Being Open to Other Views
Adriana is an immigrant. She was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of 18 to pursue a better life and a degree in Communications. That experience always influences her perspective and the way she conducts herself as a leader. She always strives to do and be better, and to be open to other views.
There are two books that she always finds herself going back to: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, and The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown. The phrase “bring your whole self to work,” and The Gifts of Imperfection gave her the tools to achieve that.
Stepping in Times of Crisis
Every year, since Adriana joined the organization five years ago, has brought new challenges and unimaginable scenarios for her that have helped her grow as a communications professional and leader. During this time, California experienced the deadliest and most devastating wildfires in its history. Like many other businesses, services and infrastructure of Comcast were impacted.
The scariest thing was knowing that some of its customers and colleagues were evacuated and, in some cases, impacted. It was a terrifying and stressful time, but Adriana couldn’t be prouder about how her team and Comcast responded. Every time there is a fire, its team of technicians and engineers are the first ones on the scene, along with critical emergency services, bringing the Cal Fire emergency locations online. That is something Comcast has done for every massive fire.
Adriana remembers feeling very proud when in 2017, Comcast donated $300,000 to Santa Rosa City Schools (SRCS) for the development of a new facility to serve communities impacted by the North Bay wildfires. The Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center still supports families who lost their homes or suffered in other ways during the fires. That is just one example of the way Comcast steps in during times of crisis.
Putting Emphasis and Resources into Developing Leaders
Adriana has never worked for an organization, big or small, with better work culture than Comcast. It feels like a family-owned small business inside a Fortune 50 company. When Comcast says that family is first, they mean it. Adriana has gone through many life events with Comcast — pregnancy, birth, the loss of a family member, and a global pandemic. Through it all, she always felt supported and valued.
Also, Comcast puts a lot of emphasis and resources into developing leaders. It has a program called LEAD Live, where leaders meet once a month to learn and grow as people leaders. It also has the employee net promoter system, a monthly survey in which employees have the opportunity to express their feelings about their job and the organization.
Adriana contributes to a positive culture at Comcast by leading with empathy and compassion. “The days of hiding who we are at the workplace is gone, and the new generation of leaders are not afraid of being vulnerable and showing their humanity,” she says.
Supporting Vulnerable People and Reducing Digital Divide
Two initiatives that Comcast started are very near and dear to Adriana’s heart. Comcast RISE is a new program that provides marketing support, technology services, and grant funding to small businesses owned by People of Color. It was born out of the circumstances that Comcast found themselves in about a year ago with the pandemic, social unrest, and the economic and technological disparities that they see in communities of color. They know that Comcast alone can’t remedy these complex and systemic issues. But they are deeply committed to playing a role in driving change, and Adriana is proud to work for a company whose values align with her.
On a different note, too many children have been left behind in their education for not having internet at home. The pandemic shed light on the digital divide and brought this subject to the forefront. However, Comcast has been working on this issue for many years. Internet Essentials from Comcast is the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for qualifying families, and it allows them to get internet service at home for $9.95 a month. Since 2011, Comcast has connected more than 8 million low-income people to the internet at home through its Internet Essentials program.
Implementing Unique and Creative Ideas to Drive Business Growth
Adriana wants to continue growing as a leader and lead a big team. Throughout her career, she has had the pleasure of leading small and medium teams. She really enjoys this, especially when she gets to work with less experienced colleagues and contribute to their growth. She looks forward to implementing unique and creative ideas that drive growth to Comcast business.
In her advice to emerging women leaders, she says “Bring fresh and new ideas to the table because your ideas are your currency. The industry, the business landscape, and the consumer base are changing, and we need bold women leaders with new ideas and perspectives. Make sure that your strategy has a customer-first approach. Sometimes we get so caught up in the business objective that we forget to think about what the customer wants.”